Welcome, comrade! So you want web hosting service, yes? I have great deal for you! My friend in Chinese Politburo help you expand to this country. Just don’t take our .cn domain names, or speak bad of the Great Party! Please fill out forms and sign on dotted line.
Ok, so maybe it doesn’t go quite like that. Nobody is going to call you comrade at least, but you will still have to deal with the Great Firewall! Many businesses are continuing to expand to China and are left asking a lot of questions about web hosting inside the People’s Republic. A whole slew of questions and doubts arise like: “Will hosting be reliable?”; “Will my site get blocked for no apparent reason?”; “Will I be able to get customer service?”; “Will I have to link back to Miibeian.gov.cn?” Some say that the Chinese government requires all websites in China to link to this site to operate legally. Crazy, huh?
It can be tricky to find a professional web hosting service for your website in China. By professional standards you should be provided with ample bandwidth, disk space, e-mail accounts, and MySQL databases.
Don’t Step Out of Line. We’ll Shut You Down!
There are advantages and disadvantages to hosting in China. It depends on your business strategy, but the negatives normally outweigh the positives. You will be limiting your freedom of speech if you decide to host in China and you are always subject to censorship. Your site will probably be slow for users outside of China too. You also might have to fill out more paperwork than you would, in the United States for example, and you might need a translator to help if the forms are all in Chinese.
Chinese hosting plans have some certain advantages though. There is a smaller chance that your website will get blocked, and it should load a lot quicker for people in China. However, unless you have a site that’s completely in Chinese for a Chinese audience then you probably don’t need to host in China.
Many people see hosting their website in Hong Kong as a compromise. It’s generally much more expensive than deals from the mainland though and you still have to deal with some of the same issues.
To Host in China or Not To Host in China. That is The Question!
Many of the premier web hosting services in the United States actually branch out around the world. A lot of Americans in China have actually found that their regular web hosts are still the most reliable and stable ones to use for their websites in China.
If you or your business is thinking about hosting in China you need to do your research and probably prepare for a lot of extra walls to climb. If you’re a well established company, hire a native Chinese staff person to handle all the technical details with your Chinese web host. Half the problem of using a host in China is getting past the language barriers that can arise, so have somebody who can translate and resolve problems for you if you can’t understand.
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